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HEALTHY PET

Wellness Exams The key to preventing health problems before they start. By Dr. Monica DeVilbiss, DVM Town Center Animal Hospital – 3565 S. Town Center Dr., LV, NV 89135 www.towncentervet.com

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y dogs, Pepper and Harley, have been part of my family for the last 10 years and the most important thing to me is keeping them healthy and happy. Pet owners play a crucial role in ensuring that their pets have a healthy, active life and one vital way of maintaining them in optimal shape is having regular Wellness Examinations. A Wellness Examination is also known as a ‘check-up’ or ‘preventative examination’ and is performed by your veterinarian. Wellness examinations are necessary at different times in your pet’s life. Very young puppies and kittens should receive a wellness examination every month, during their vaccination appointments.

Adult dogs and cats should have wellness examinations once a year and senior pets should have them every six months. The reason for this schedule has to do with the potential likelihood of disease depending on the age of the pet; younger and older pets generally being at higher risk of contracting disease or becoming ill. The goal of a wellness examination is to provide a valuable baseline of what is ‘normal’ for your pet at a given age and therefore help identify problems early on, before they become serious. Serious illnesses are much more difficult to treat, involve more testing, more treatments, and more medication and may end up costing considerably more than the preventative measures. During a routine wellness examination visit your veterinarian will ask you a number of questions to gather information on how your pet is doing at home; these include questions relating to eating, drinking, urinating and defecating habits, as well as activity, overall attitude, travel history etc. As an owner you know your pet’s normal behavior the best and sometimes even subtle changes may be important, so don’t hesitate to bring them up during your visit.

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The Wellness examination consists of a full body evaluation that will include all body systems. Your veterinarian will listen to the heart and lungs taking note of heart Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine • November/December 2013

rhythm and lung sounds. Your veterinarian will also pay close attention to your pet’s eyes, nose, ears, teeth, skin, hair coat, temperature, weight, ability to walk and move normally, to name a few. A wellness examination may also include screening tests which provide information on blood values and organ function; this can help detect disease even before your pet shows any signs of illness. Your veterinarian will then make recommendations on preventative measures to keep your pet healthy; these may include vaccinations, fecal testing, prophylactic dental cleaning etc. Wellness examinations are also a great opportunity for you to bring up questions or concerns you may have related to nutrition, behavior, oral health, and other important aspects of your pet’s health. Some clinics offer Wellness Plans or Packages that are paid on a yearly basis and include routine physical exams, vaccinations, radiographs and even dental prophylactics depending on the level of plan desired. A Wellness examination is very important. Call your veterinarian today and find out what examination schedule best fits your pet’s age and current health status.

Profile for Homes Illustrated/LV Pet Scene

Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine - November/December 2013  

Inside this issue: Service Dogs Give Hope and Help to our Veterans, Wellness Exams, Alternative Gift Ideas, Backyard Safety, Pet-Friendly Ho...

Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine - November/December 2013  

Inside this issue: Service Dogs Give Hope and Help to our Veterans, Wellness Exams, Alternative Gift Ideas, Backyard Safety, Pet-Friendly Ho...